Tips for Choosing a Law School

Tips for Choosing a Law School

For those of you who are thinking about pursuing law school (like me), it can be an arduous task to decide which school is truly best for you. Whatever you do, it is pivotal that you choose a school that meets your expectations and needs, and seems to be a good fit.

 

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a George Washington University (GWU) Law School Tour as part of my TWC Professional Track. During the session, Matthew Dillard, the assistant director of admissions at GW Law, provided TWC students with some valuable tips about how to navigate the law school application process. In addition, he gave us some good insight into what the admission committee looks for in a prospective student.

 

GW Law, located on GWU's main campus in Foggy Bottom (Credit: GW Law)


Here are just a few of his tips that I think every student should consider before diving into the application process:

 

1. It's not always about the money

Sometimes, you might be stuck in the middle between a state school and a private one. At the end of the day, you should be more concerned about what kind of environment you can see yourself thriving in. Do you want to be enrolled in an institution that is expensive, but offers you clinical opportunities that pertain to your field of interest and let you work anywhere in the country? Or do you want to be enrolled in an institution that will allow you to find experience and jobs in the state, but will not provide you with the freedom to practice or explore law in other regions? Similarly, do you want a rigorous education or do you care more about the connections you make at law school? It is up to you to make the final call.

 

2. Have your safety schools

Do not let your ego inflate just because you have exemplary LSAT scores and an impeccable GPA. This does not mean that you should not apply to a few safety schools. It is always good to have a back-up plan, in case you do not get into your top choice.

 

3. Don't just apply to a small portion of schools

That being said, do not just apply to one safety school and one top choice. Make sure that you apply to a wide range of schools. You might end up getting a generous financial aid package from a certain school you're considering. After touring some schools, you may also find that you gravitate more towards school x than you do towards school y. You may want to consider applying to both anyways, in case your mind changes again in the future.

 

4. Oh - and make sure you go to a school where people laugh

That's right. Dillard was very adamant about making this an essential point. If you find yourself being exposed to a dismal, cut-throat environment, maybe you should reconsider your law school options. Unless you can see yourself thriving in such a tense, rigorous environment, you should consider applying to places where there are more receptive, amiable students who know how to balance a fun, personal life with a school one. It is not always healthy to consistently compete with other students for stellar marks. Such behavior can breed toxicity in the long-run.

 

These were just a few of the tips that stuck out to me during our visit to GWU's Law School. Feel free to comment below to share some of your own!

 

Ciao.

P.


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